Big Rapids, Mich. – The Ferris State University women's softball team battled back from a 10-0 loss to earn a series split with the Purdue Northwest Pride with a dominant 9-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory over the Pride on Wednesday (April 3) at the Ferris State Softball Field.
In the series opener, the Pride broke the game open in the first inning with a four-run first inning, followed by two runs in the second frame. Ferris State junior starting pitcher Connor Proctor went two innings and allowed five earned runs with one more unearned tally on seven hits while striking out three. Proctor took the loss for Ferris State.
In relief, FSU freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Nugent allowed four runs on four hits in three innings. Purdue Northwest's Courtney Blackwell navigated a one-hit shutout, walking one and striking out two on 68 pitches. The Pride won the game in five innings.
The second contest featured a role reversal as the Bulldog bats and arms came alive. Junior starting pitcher Abby Highway put on her finest performance of the year, a two-hit complete game shutout. Highway pitched to contact and had several quick innings, as she finished with one strikeout and 58 pitches thrown (43 for strikes) as the Bulldogs pulled the mercy rule, ending the game in five innings in their favor against the Pride.
Ferris State hammered Pride pitching, tallying three doubles in the series finale. Sophomore centerfielder Paige Kortz, senior shortstop Logan Fleming and senior designated hitter Lexi Hongisto each had an extra-base hit in the game. Hongisto drove in four runs, while Kortz finished with a pair of RBI's in the game. Sophomore second baseman Kodi Ramirez had an RBI and two stolen bases in the contest.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a Hongisto single to center field, driving in Ramirez. In the third inning, senior catcher Rebecca Piron scored on a passed ball for a 2-0 edge. Hongisto reached first base on a throwing error by the shortstop as Fleming and Ramirez touched home for the 4-0 Bulldog lead.
In the fourth inning, the Bulldogs piled on five runs. Ramirez singled home freshman right fielder Kaitlyn Orme. Kortz followed up with a double that sent Ramriez and Piron home for a 7-0 Ferris State lead. Fleming went on to double in Kortz, followed by a Hongisto double that drove Fleming in for the 9-0 final.
Ferris State tallied eight hits off of Purdue Northwest starter Mia Stevens who went three and a third innings, allowing five earned runs and eight total, striking out one Bulldog. Ashley Bravo recorded two outs in relief, allowing two hits and a run to the Bulldogs.
Ferris State moved to 14-16 with the win, felling Purdue Northwest to 14-9. The Bulldogs are now even at 5-5 in GLIAC play while the Pride are 5-4.
The Bulldogs travel to Wayne State to take on the Warriors on Thursday (April 4) in Detroit for at 3:30 and 5:30 pm EST doubleheader in GLIAC play.